Thursday, May 24, 2007

Planer & Jointer Uses

A little education for self-taught artist, and anyone else who's curious.

Unless you buy wood already surfaced - which at a lumberyard is expensive and at the big box stores is low quality - the wood will look like the picture at the left. This may not look so nice but once it's cleaned up it should look pretty good, although I surfaced a board last week that had the wildest grain and color patterns. Might be good for some things, but not for the cabinet door frame I'd intended it for. But I digress.. The way you take this rough board and make it a nice pretty board is either to use a hand plane or the power tool option the planer and jointer (you may also see this written as joiner).

Step 1 is to take the board to the jointer and place the face side down. For safety you determine which face is most stable and place that down on the infeed table of the jointer. With one edge against the fence you push the board across the blades (the three lines in the circle on the drawing below) to the outfeed table. The outfeed table is just a bit higher than the infeed table and the blades are aligned with the outfeed table.

The amount of difference between the tables is the amount of wood that is removed. After several passes over the blades the face of the board should look something like the wood pictured below, but with rough edges.

The next step is to create a smooth edge that is perpendicular (90ยบ) to the face that you just smoothed. To do this you hold the piece on end on the infeed table and support it against the fence. Then you pass it over the blades just like you did with the face, cutting the wood on the edge.

Then it's time to head to the planer. The planer also has a cylinder with blades on it, but instead of two tables it has one. To use it you place the nice flat face you just created face down on the table and feed the board into the planer . The feed rollers continue to move the board through the machine, and the blades cut off a small amount of wood (the table is adjustable). Because the table and the face you milled on the jointer are both flat the face with smoothed by the blades will be parallel to the one created on the jointer. When you're done the board should look a lot like the ones in the second photo above. You'll still have a rough edge, but that can be trimmed off at the table saw.

1 comment:

Self Taught Artist said...

I added your blog to my bloglines so I'm notified now when you've posted. Wow, thanks for explaining all that, really good job (meaning I actually understood it!!!). I found that fascinating. Can't wait to see the projects your working on.
Maybe if you are bored one day and I'm rich I can hire you to make some things I have in mind that I want to use for art!